Read Psalm 78
Focus on verse 23
I believe in God the Father, the maker of heaven and earth. I believe that He is everything that He claims to be in the revelation of Himself that He has provided for us, which we call His written word or the Bible. I believe that He came to earth in the flesh as the man Jesus Christ whom we call the Son of God, and that He was also the son of Mary who gave birth to Him though she was still a virgin. I believe that God loves us so much that He gave up His only Son Jesus Christ to die in our place, who paid in full the penalty for all the sin of humanity once for all. I believe that those who choose to repent of their sin and rebellion against God and choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and accept His free gift of forgiveness that He offers to us is restored in relationship to God and from the time at which that decision is made begin to experience the gift of eternal life with God. I believe all this to be true, but I am still learning how to trust.
There is a significant difference between belief and trust. It is one thing to believe that a skilled archer can shoot an apple off a person’s head with an arrow. It is an entirely different thing to trust that archer to shoot that apple off my head! Similarly, it is one thing to say “I believe that all God says about Himself is true”. Where the rubber really meets the road is when we consider how this “belief” changes my actions and attitudes.
In today’s reading the psalmist recounts the history of Israel, citing several times when Israel was unfaithful to God. He states that the Lord’s anger rose against Israel “because they did not believe in God and did not trust in his saving power.” It would seem that the real acid test of what we believe is revealed by what we trust in. What we may discover as we examine this is that we really don’t believe everything we claim we believe, and the way we discover this is when we examine the degree to which we trust what we believe to be true.
If we say we believe that God is our provider, but worry about how we will pay our bills, we have a conflict between what we say we believe and our commitment to trust that it is true. It actually betrays the truth that we really do not believe that God will provide for us or at least not to the degree to which we want him too, and perhaps that is the real issue. At its most basic level it really comes down to choosing to trust our self rather than God…and that really is the root cause of our sin in the first place. When the serpent approached Eve in Genesis 3 his question was, “did God really say…” and with his deceptive twisting of words he cast doubt in the mind of Eve in regard to her trust in the goodness and love of God. The serpent’s tactics have not changed. His strategy continues to be to undermine our trust in the Father. He tried the same strategy when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and here Jesus gave us an example of how to resist temptation. In every case he quoted the truth back to Satan exposing the deception.
To trust the truth, we must know the truth. This has a double application for it steers us not just to know the written word of God, but also the living word of God. Jesus said “I am the way the Truth and the life…” To trust the Truth, we must also know the Truth. I believe that the more truly we seek to know Jesus the more consistently our trust will align with our belief.